The S&P 500 suffered a late-afternoon sell-off on Thursday, after reports emerged that Pfizer had cut in half the number of Covid-19 vaccines it expects to ship this year due to supply chain issues.

Southwest Airlines warned more than 6,800 employees that they could be furloughed next spring — potentially the first job losses in the airline’s history.

New films from AT&T’s Warner Bros will debut both online and in cinemas next year, as Hollywood braces for the likelihood that in-person attendance will remain limited because of the pandemic.

Greece will keep lockdown measures in place for an extra week following a slower than predicted decline in Covid-19 cases in the northern city of Thessaloniki and its surrounding regions. The four-week lockdown, which was due to be lifted on Monday, will be extended until December 14.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, predicts the early vaccines will have “significant impact”, even if it takes many months of inoculation to achieve herd immunity. Mr Bourla said that by prioritising more vulnerable populations, the vaccine could make a dent in hospitalisations from the start.

France will vaccinate 1m particularly vulnerable people against coronavirus in January, especially those in old people’s homes, with a further 14m being vaccinated in February and the rest of the population in the spring, Prime Minister Jean Castex said.

North Carolina and Indiana on Thursday reported their biggest one-day jumps in cases since the start of the pandemic, while Arizona had its second-biggest day on record. The three states represent a relatively broad geographical cross-section of the country and reflect the overall trend across the US.

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Senior executives and City dealmakers entering the UK will be exempt from having to quarantine under new proposals. The exemption would mean that executives from large companies would not need to self-isolate or take a test if they are involved in high-value deals which deliver a “significant economic return to the UK”.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell declared that compromise was “in reach” on a bipartisan Covid-19 relief package, boosting hopes that Washington may finally pass some follow-up stimulus package in the final weeks of the Trump administration.

Dharampal Gulati, India’s “spice king”, has died of a cardiac arrest three weeks after testing positive for coronavirus. The owner of Mahashian Di Hatti was in a hospital in Delhi and died on Thursday, aged 97.

The Premier League has wrapped up negotiations to provide a £250m rescue package for English Football League clubs struggling to survive without fans at matches for most of the year. Shareholders in football’s most lucrative domestic league agreed to provide £50m in grants for League One and Two clubs.

Via Financial Times

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